BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 5 -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reported net sales for the four- and 17-week periods ending May 30, 2008, and June 1, 2007, respectively, as follows (dollars in billions).
Net Sales 4 Weeks Ended Percent 17 Weeks Ended Percent 5/30/2008 6/1/2007 Change 5/30/2008 6/1/2007 Change Wal-Mart Stores $19.491 $18.073 7.8% $79.227 $74.632 6.2% Sam's Club 3.805 3.546 7.3% 15.067 14.133 6.6% International 7.740 6.639 16.6% 32.084 27.110 18.3% Total Company $31.036 $28.258 9.8% $126.378 $115.875 9.1%
Comparable store sales for the four- and 17-week periods ending May 30, 2008, and June 1, 2007, respectively, were as follows.
Four Weeks Comparable Store Sales Without Fuel With Fuel Fuel Impact 5/30/2008 6/1/2007 5/30/2008 6/1/2007 5/30/2008 6/1/2007 Wal-Mart Stores 4.0% 0.3% 4.0% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% Sam's Club 3.6% 5.4% 6.5% 6.4% 2.9% 1.0% Total U.S. 3.9% 1.1% 4.4% 1.3% 0.5% 0.2% Seventeen Weeks Comparable Store Sales Without Fuel With Fuel Fuel Impact 5/30/2008 6/1/2007 5/30/2008 6/1/2007 5/30/2008 6/1/2007 Wal-Mart Stores 2.3% 0.1% 2.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% Sam's Club 2.7% 4.9% 5.5% 4.8% 2.8% -0.1% Total U.S. 2.4% 0.8% 2.8% 0.8% 0.4% 0.0% Wal-Mart U.S.
Comparable store sales in the Wal-Mart U.S. segment during the four-week May period were strong in grocery, health and wellness and entertainment. The home area showed its first comparable store sales increase in more than two years.
"The Wal-Mart U.S. underlying business continues to be strong. Our comparable store sales continue to increase because of our price leadership, merchandising initiatives and operational improvements. We also believe we're seeing some benefits from the stimulus checks," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, Wal-Mart U.S. president and chief executive officer. "The combination of these factors contributed to an increase in comparable store traffic. Customers continue to rely on Wal-Mart to stretch their dollars."
Ongoing price initiatives continue to support the strength of grocery. Entertainment items remained strong, led by flat-panel TVs, desktop and laptop computers, and digital products. Sales in health and wellness increased with the expansion of the $4 prescription program, which now includes more than 1,000 over-the-counter medications priced at $4 or less.
In a difficult economic environment for home, the category had positive comparable sales due to an emphasis on presentation of branded merchandise and Mother's Day. Seasonal categories dependent on weather were soft.
Sam's Club experienced sales strength during the May period in fresh foods, dry grocery and consumables. Within general merchandise, video games and residential furniture were strong. Apparel, house wares and fine jewelry were soft during the May period. Within the seasonal categories, sales of outdoor grills and gardening items were stronger than patio sets.
"We're pleased to see comparable club traffic and ticket growth with both Business and Advantage members," said Doug McMillon, Sam's Club president and CEO. "Whether or not you own a small business, value is even more important in this environment."
Fuel sales were higher both in gallons and dollars sold, increasing comparable club sales by 2.9 percentage points.
Wal-Mart International's sales for the May period were strongest in the United Kingdom, Brazil and China.
"The international business delivered another solid sales performance in May, reinforcing that our price leadership strategy works around the world," said Mike Duke, vice chairman, Wal-Mart International.
In the U.K., sales at ASDA strengthened further in May, driven by traffic gains in a market where customers are increasingly seeking the lowest prices and best value for their money. ASDA stores were well set for warmer weather, achieving strong sales of fresh foods and seasonal products, with the strongest comparable store sales coming from George clothing. Recent independent market share data has confirmed a growing position for ASDA in food, clothing and general merchandise.
Brazil had another strong month. Sales were strengthened by Mother's Day merchandising centered on imports and other differentiated items. Todo Dia, the low-income consumer format, and hypermarkets in the south and southeast continue to be the key drivers of sales growth in Brazil.
China's May comparable store sales were strong, despite the impact of the recent earthquake in Sichuan province. The earthquake interrupted sales at more than 20 of the Company's stores in China. Two stores remain closed from the effects of the earthquake and the flooding that followed.
Canada continues to benefit from supercentre expansion. Overall sales growth was driven by an increase in basket size. Electronics and food were the strongest categories. Home was strengthened by the launch of George merchandise.
Mexico's sales performance continues to be driven by increases in customer traffic at self-service formats. The discretionary spending formats, Suburbia and Vips, continue to show traffic declines.
"Our estimate for U.S. comparable store sales, excluding fuel, for the June five-week period is between two and four percent," said Tom Schoewe, executive vice president and chief financial officer. "This guidance represents both the underlying strength of our existing U.S. businesses and the potential benefit from the stimulus checks."
The June five-week period runs from May 31, 2008 through July 4, 2008.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The Company's securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.
This release contains a statement that Wal-Mart believes is a "forward-looking statement" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, that is intended to enjoy the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by that act. This forward-looking statement relates to our management's expectations for our comparable store sales in the United States for the June five-week reporting period to end July 4, 2008. This statement is identified by use of the word "estimate" in the statement. This forward-looking statement is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, domestically and internationally, including general economic conditions, the availability of consumer credit, consumer spending patterns and debt levels, unemployment levels, fuel prices, inflation levels, weather conditions, competitive pressures and other risks. The Company discusses certain of these matters and other risk factors more fully in its filings with the SEC, including the most recent annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. This release should be read in conjunction with that annual report on Form 10-K and certain other Company filings with the SEC through the date of this release. The Company urges you to consider all of these risks, uncertainties and other factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statement made in this release and not to place undue reliance on such statements. As a result of these and other matters, including changes in facts, assumptions not being realized or other circumstances, our actual results may differ materially from those discussed in such forward-looking statement. The forward-looking statement included in this release is made only as of the date of this release, and we undertake no obligation to update it to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
CONTACT: Investor Relations, +1-479-273-8446, or Carol Schumacher, +1-479-277-1498, or Mike Beckstead, +1-479-277-9558, or Media Relations, John Simley, 1-800-331-0085, all of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Web site: http://www.walmartstores.com